New Park Becomes Reality

By at December 7, 2017 | 2:15 pm | Print


Residents will no longer be heading to other towns to skateboard. On Saturday the City officially opened a revamped skateboard park at Stanley Quarter Park.

According to Mayor Erin E. Stewart, the skate park gets a lot of use and skateboarders having been asking for improvements for quite some time. It was also getting unsafe to use.

“This was put in about 17 years ago. Skateboarding has gotten more intense since then so they want more intricate obstacles to go over,” said Michael Thompson, general foreman for the City. “It was deteriorating with the asphalt, which wasn’t the right material in the first place. It wasn’t getting used as much because kids want to grind and jump and do flips so all these obstacles were put in to achieve that.”

The goal is to next year finish the bottom part of the park. It features two big bowls. Problems occur when it rains as they fill up. It needs new drainage and added features.

“Even if there is snow out, the kids are here,” said Craig Bowman, recreation specialist. “Now, we have a smooth finish concrete.”

Carlos Ramos of Hardware City Skateboards said, “It is definitely attractive. It is easier for older guys to get around. The floor is nice and smooth which makes it safer.”

Ramos said this was the first park he skated, but then he went to others who opened up because they were better.

“This has been skate-able for a few weeks and has brought people back,” Ramos added.

Other nearby skateboard parks are in Bristol, Newington and Wethersfield.

Input for the park came from Rampage Skate Shop of Bridgeport, CT.

A crowd on Saturday gathered at the park for a picture.

“The good news is Mayor Stewart is recommending to the Council more money for the bottom portion of the bowl,” said Erik Barbieri, parks and recreation director. “We are talking one of the best parks in the state when we get the bottom portion done. We need to work together.”

The City had $65,000 available from a grant for the construction.

The current skateboard park was about 20 years old. It has a large bank, a couple of rails, a couple of quarter pipes, and a bowl.

The park is also used by bicycles or anything with wheels excluding motor vehicles.

“This never would have happened if two years ago I didn’t receive a message telling me this needed repair,” said Mayor Stewart encouraging skateboarders to help her ask for more funds for the park.

The City was originally looking for funds to build another Skateboard Park at Osgood Park, but now is hoping to use those funds to finish the bottom portion of Stanley Quarter instead.

Skateboarding began in the 1950’s when kids put wheels on boards. The first skateboard was made in mass production in the 1960’s. The sport gained much notoriety in the 1990s as ESPN created the X-Games.

In 2016, it was announced that skateboarding will be represented at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

.News Feature

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